By Denise Ferreira, CPT & Nutrition Coach
The ratio of Omega 3 EFA (essential fatty acids) to Omega 6 EFA in a diet is essential.
Naturally, occurring Omega 6 EFAs are beneficial to our bodies, but they become problematic when they are consumed too much. Omega 6 is found in large quantities in all vegetable oils (sunflower, safflower, canola, soybean, corn ), as well as in nuts, seeds, and vegetables.
Most North Americans consume too little Omega 3 and way too much Omega 6. The proper ratio of Omega 3 to 6 should be 1:4 Recent research has found that North Americans consume a ratio of 1:15 to 1:20.
Omega 3 is essential for our bodies cell oxidation and the metabolizing of amino acids. Omega 3 deficiencies have been associated with asthma, heart disease, inflammatory diseases and learning deficiencies (Farr, 2006)
The concern of consuming too much Omega 6 is its impact on systemic inflammation. Systemic inflammation is linked to many diseases including autoimmune diseases, arthritis, psoriasis, IBS, allergies, heart diseases, and mental illness.
Our focus should be on increasing our intake of omega-3 while making an effort to reduce the amount of omega-6 we consume so that we can balance out the proper ratio of 1:4 (Omega 3:6)
While Omega-6 is found in high quantities in many foods, Omega-3 is not and taking an Omega 3 EPA, and DHA supplement is highly recommended.
Essential Fatty Acids:
EPA = Eicosapentaenoic acid
DHA- docosahexaenoic acid
ALA- Linoleic Acid (ALA must be converted to EPA and DHA in order to be used by the body)
There are two types of Omega 3. Derived from fish or shellfish or derived from Algae.
Algae is the only plant that naturally contains both EPA and DHA.
When it comes to choosing an Omega to supplement its essential to pick one that offers a high dose of Omega 3 EPA & DHA, many fish based Omega brands will argue that plant-based Omega supplements only provide DHA, this is because not every Omega 3 supplement is created equally. NutraVege’s plant-based Omega 3 is high in both EPA +DHA and is derived from sustainably sourced algae.
While flax and hemp seed oils are also sources of omega-3, they’re a source of ALA rather than EPA and DHA. Our bodies can convert a certain amount of ALA to DHA and EPA, but the process is inefficient with less than a 5% conversion rate. NutraVege is made from algal oil, which is a direct source of EPA and DHA. No conversion required!
NutraVege analyzes every lot of product for purity and potency. A third party testing program analyses every NutraVege product for purity and potency, so you know you’re getting the highest quality omega-3 every time!
Available in both liquid and liquid-gel formats, NutraVege omega-3 plant products are available in a variety of different flavors that help support overall health. NutraVege is ideal for vegans, vegetarians or for those who prefer to take a plant-based Omega supplement.
Visit NutraVege website for more information.
This article is in paid partnership with Nutravege|Nutrasea